MapleStory M

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
MapleStory M App Poster Image
Cute tale adds auto-play to repetitive, cash-focused action.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The included auto-play button makes play optional. 

Violence & Scariness

Cartoon violence is featured with swords, wands, and bows against monsters. No blood shown in combat, and monsters vanish when defeated. 

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

It's possible to play for free, but a shop full of vanity items is very tempting for players to customize their heroes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that MapleStory M is a free-to-play fantasy MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) for iOS and Android devices set in the world of the popular -- and long-lived -- MapleStory PC series. Combat features characters using swords, wands, and bows against monsters, but there's no blood shown and monsters vanish when defeated. Players are encouraged to add friends, join guilds, and chat with guild members to defeat powerful monsters. Players can send Mail to individual players; they can also Whisper at and Invite individuals, but both Whisper and Invite can be turned off. An in-app cash shop offers hundreds of vanity items such as clothing and pets to tempt players to spend money. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

MAPLESTORY M is a freemium MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) set in the magical Maple World where noble Cygnus Knights work to defeat the infamous Black Mage. Players create a custom character, choosing from five classes: Dark Knight, Bow Master, Night Lord, Bishop, and Corsair, and enter Maple World suffering from amnesia. While searching for the reasons behind their memory loss, they find out the wildlife has gone crazy -- a symptom of the ongoing fight between good and evil. Of course, players will complete missions by fighting monsters, which grants players experience points (XP), items, and currency to upgrade their skills, armor, and weapons. To earn the best rewards, players join guilds and enter special events, fighting alongside other players to defeat the biggest monsters. Customization and commerce are also included here, and players can forge, fuse, buy, and trade items in order to create their own uniquely powerful heroes.

Is it any good?

Fans of this role-playing franchise have been on edge waiting for the mobile version, and if they're OK with auto-play running their game, they're bound to enjoy it. Then again, considering the competitive nature of your average MapleStory fan, that's highly unlikely for MapleStory M players. Visually, MapleStory M is a credit to the series. It's cute and colorful, with fun music, sounds, and effects. Plus, the hundreds of weapons, armor pieces, and accessories promise hours of tinkering with your character's skills and looks. The simple storyline provides just enough motivation to keep you stepping through magic portals, and the cool background art makes it worth finding out what they lead to. Grouping is easy, and generous free play means nice long play sessions without spending any cash. (Then again, not buying that new magic robe or collection of cute koala bear pets could be too much to ask of any MMO fan.)

On the downside, the gameplay is highly repetitive. Missions consist solely of "kill so many of this," and "collect so much of that," which is likely why the development team decided to include auto-play. Though it's common enough in modern mobile games, the "no pain, all gain" of auto-play could be a big turn-off for old-school role-players. And true enough: What's the point of interactive entertainment if it's not interactive? In any case, auto-play is optional, so if you don't mind lots of repetition and can ignore the idea of sitting lower on the leaderboard than someone who lets the game play itself for hours on end, you're in for a reasonable amount of fun. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in MapleStory M affected by the cartoonish visuals of the game? Would it be intensified if the gameplay looked more realistic?

  • Should competitive games have an auto-play feature? Can a game be considered competitive if you don't actually need to actively command your character?

  • Do you think rewards are more worthwhile if you've worked for them? Why or why not? 

App details

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